Humboldt State University announced recently that it won a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to reduce sexualized violence on campus. It's part of a $8.5 million nationwide effort at 27 colleges.
The funding will allow the university to expand its Check It program, which the Journal wrote about in February
, as well as work with community programs designed to reduce and respond to sexual assault.
Already recognized by the White House as a leader in addressing sexualized violence on campus, Humboldt State University is now one of 27 universities in the nation to receive funding under an $8.5 million Dept. of Justice grant to enhance these efforts.
HSU will receive $300,000 over three years, and will work closely with the North Coast Rape Crisis Team, Humboldt Domestic Violence Services, the Arcata Police Department, and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office. The program supports activities that develop campus-based coordinated responses that include health providers, housing officials, administrators, student leaders, UPD, Greek Council, athletics, student clubs, Associated Students, and the Office of Student Conduct, and the new campus advocate.
All campuses in the California State University system have recently been mandated to have campus advocates for survivors of sexual assault. To meet that requirement, Humboldt State is contracting with the North Coast Rape Crisis Team, which will mean advocate services are available 24 hours a day.
This coordinated community response is intended to enhance safety, provide assistance to survivors, and hold offenders accountable.
“We have a dream team of campus and community members who are fundamentally committed to creating a community free of violence,” said Kim Berry, chair of the Department of Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and lead researcher for the grant. “Our ‘Check IT’ bystander education program has harnessed the vision and creativity of student activists to help change our culture on campus so that students look out for each other and disrupt potential moments of harm,” she said.
Rep. Jared Huffman said the grant underscores the quality and innovation of Humboldt State's efforts to reduce harm. “This federal support recognizes Humboldt State’s leadership in preventing sexualized violence,” Huffman said. “This grant will prove important in furthering their work to protect our students and ensure that campus is a safe place.”
Humboldt State has a history of partnering with community agencies that are focused on supporting survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking. Collaborations like this bring expertise and resources to the campus community.
“Through such partnerships we have developed concrete tools and resources for our campus community to put survivors’ needs at the center of our response, while having more success in holding perpetrators accountable and complying with mandatory reporting required by Title IX and other state and federal laws,” says Berry.
The grant will focus on several areas:
(1) Strengthen the coordinated community response to sexual assault, intimate-partner violence, dating violence, and stalking;
(2) Continue the implementation of Check IT and conduct ongoing training for administrators regarding campus conduct;
(3) Create a comprehensive campus plan detailing campus professionals' roles in prevention and response;
(4) Train law enforcement in appropriate responses to incidents, victims, and perpetrators of violence;
(5) Develop materials to prevent retaliation, initiate social media campaigns, and expand creative outreach;
(6) Improve direct services for victim/survivors; and
(7) Develop a core group of male leaders of fraternities and sports teams who will model consent-centered behavior and position themselves as active bystanders to disrupt harm.
More About HSU’s Efforts to Combat Sexualized Violence
Humboldt State University has taken a coordinated approach to reducing sexualized violence on campus. Here is a look at some of that work to date:
• April 2011: HSU launches the Rape and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response website, which lists resources and is designed to educate campus members.
• October 2012: The Sexual Assault Prevention Committee of Humboldt State receives a $250,000 Department of Justice grant to fund programs that prevent and respond to sexualized violence, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.
• February 2014: Students, in collaboration with the university’s Sexual Assault Prevention Committee and the North Coast Rape Crisis Team, launch Check It, a student-led bystander intervention project focused on preventing sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
• June 2014: Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, recognizes Humboldt State as a leader in the creation of a coordinated community response to prevent and respond to sexualized violence on college campuses.
• April 2015: HSU shares its model of preventing and responding to sexualized violence with the 23-campus CSU system.
• Ongoing: Every April, HSU’s long-running Take Back the Night event spotlights widespread sexualized violence against women and provides opportunities for survivors to speak out.
The North Coast Rape Crisis Team 24-Hour hotline is (707) 445-2881
The Humboldt Domestic Violence Services 24-hour hotline is (707) 443-6042
For more information, visit http://www2.humboldt.edu/stoprape/.